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Pontoon passengers file civil lawsuit in fatal boating crash

A second civil lawsuit has been filed against an Oregon man involved in a fatal boating crash a year ago.

Phillip J. Lukes, 53, and Sherry M. Bushre, 60, a married couple from Chicago, filed an eight-count lawsuit against Marc Mongan, 47, Oregon, in Ogle County Court on June 29.

Lukes and Bushre were passengers on a pontoon boat which was struck by a fishing boat operated by Mongan on June 24, 2016 on the Rock River approximately three miles north of Oregon.

Mongan’s boat came over the back of the pontoon boat striking Megan M. Wells, 31, Rockford, and throwing her overboard. She was pronounced dead at Swedish American Hospital, Rockford.

Wells’ husband Robbie has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Mongan, as well as pontoon board operator David Daily, 53, Leaf River, who is Megan’s uncle.

Mongan has been charged with operating a watercraft while under the influence of alcohol and reckless operation of a watercraft.

He has pleaded not guilty, and his trial is set for August.

Lukes and Bushre’s lawsuit claims that they suffered current and future physical, psychological, and emotional injury as a result of the boat crash, are unable to pursue a normal life, and have already spent large sums of money for medical care and treatment.

According to police reports, they refused medical treatment on the night of the crash.

The four counts filed in Lukes’ behalf say he has suffered temporary and permanent injury to his back and ribs, causing his great pain now and in the future.

The counts in behalf of Bushre claim she has suffered injuries to her back and neck, also causing great pain.

The lawsuit blames Mongan for the crash, alleging that he was under the influence of alcohol and operated his boat in careless manner, failing to have a proper lookout for other boats, driving too fast, and failing to turn to the right to avoid the collision.

Each count asks for $50,000 plus the costs of the lawsuit.

A progress call is set for Aug. 18.

Robbie Wells’ lawsuit includes four counts, two against Mongan and two against Daily, alleging Megan’s three children and he have been deprived of her “support and society” because of the negligence of the two boat operators.

Each of those counts also seeks $50,000.

Daily’s attorney Raymond Fabricius, Ottawa, has filed a response denying wrongdoing and asking for the complaint to be dismissed.

A status hearing is set for July 21.

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